EU-India Cooperation on Cyber Issues: Towards Pragmatic Idealism?

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Series Details No.36, December 2016
Publication Date 19/12/2016
ISBN 978-88-9368-016-5
ISSN 2280-4331
Content Type


As the two biggest democracies in the world, the European Union and India share many values and principles. Yet, their cooperation in several policy areas is undermined by suspicions resulting from questions about each other’s real intentions and discrepancies between official discourse and concrete policies. The field of cybersecurity cooperation is not immune to these dilemmas. For instance, this is the case in their respective approaches to the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance, sovereignty in cyberspace and the protection of human rights online (including the right to privacy).

In an effort to overcome these differences, this paper calls for “pragmatic idealism” in EU-India relations that could be implemented through network diplomacy that reinforces trust and institutional dialogue needed for closer cooperation. The paper suggests that such network diplomacy could be particularly fruitful in fostering relationships between local authorities and cities, research communities, cyber respondents and track 1.5 diplomacy.

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